United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION (GRANTING LTD FINANCIAL SERVICES,
L.P.'S MOTION TO DISMISS)
E. Hudson United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant LTD Financial
Services, L.P.'s ("Defendant") Motion to
Dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1)
and 12(b)(3) and the doctrine of forum non
conveniens, filed on July 13, 2017. (ECF No. 16.)
Defendant has been afforded the opportunity to reply to
Plaintiffs Opposition to the Motion (ECF No. 30), but has not
done so. Accordingly, the matter is ripe for disposition. The
Court will dispense with oral argument because the facts and
legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials
presently before the Court and argument would not aid in the
decisional process. E.D. Va. Local Civ. R. 7(J). For the
reasons discussed herein, Defendant's Motion will be
Hunter, Stephen Pike, Dawn Mays-Johnson, Julie Johnson, and
Dianne Turner (collectively, "Plaintiffs") filed
the instant Class Action Complaint ("Complaint")
alleging, inter alia, that Defendant violated
certain provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 etseq.
(ECF No. 1.) Plaintiffs generally allege that Defendant, a
debt-collection agency, worked systematically to collect or
attempt to collect illegal loans. (Compl. ¶¶ 79-82.)
Defendant allegedly sent Plaintiff Johnson a dunning letter
on or around September 28, 2016, in an attempt to collect on
Johnson's debt. (Id. ¶ 85.) The letter
identified Johnson's debt as $1, 061.59 and indicated
that the communication was "an attempt to collect a debt
and any information obtained will be used for that
purpose." (Id. ¶¶ 86, 88.) Johnson
received "additional correspondence" from
Defendant, including another collection letter dated October
6, 2016. (Id. ¶ 89.) Plaintiff Turner also
received a collection letter from Defendant. (Id.
¶ 91.) Upon information and belief, Plaintiffs assert
that Defendant used form letters in its debt collection
efforts. (Id. ¶ 92.)
on these collection practices, Plaintiffs allege that
Defendant violated the FDCPA by: (1) sending letters
containing validation notices that "falsely" stated
that Plaintiffs owed money for an usurious-and therefore
illegal-debt, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(1);
(2) sending letters that misstated the legal status of
Plaintiffs' debts, i.e., that the debts were legal and
enforceable, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e; and (3)
attempting to and actually collecting "debts that were
void and unenforceable under Virginia law, " in
violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692f. (Id.
¶¶ 132, 141, 150.) The Complaint asserts that
Plaintiffs accordingly seek actual damages, statutory
damages, and reasonable attorney's fees and costs.
(Id. ¶¶ 133, 142, 151.)
instant Motion, Defendant seeks dismissal of Plaintiffs'
FDCPA claims (Counts IV, V, and VI of the Complaint) on two
separate grounds. First, Defendant incorporates the arguments
set forth in the Brief in Support of NHCash Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 15) to assert that the Agreements
preclude Plaintiffs from filing suit in this Court, based on
the forum selection and arbitration provisions contained
therein. (Br. Supp. Mot. Dismiss 1 n.l, 3-6, ECF No. 17.)
Second, Defendants argue that the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' FDCPA claims because
"Plaintiffs have failed to assert a concrete injury
necessary to give them standing in this case."
(Id. at 9.)
LEGAL STANDARDS 
motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is
governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). As
recognized by the Fourth Circuit, "[t]here are two
critically different ways in which to present a motion to
dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction" under
Rule 12(b)(1). Adams v. Bain, 697 F.2d 1213, 1219
(4th Cir. 1982). First, a defendant may challenge
jurisdiction facially and "contend 'that a complaint
simply fails to allege facts upon which subject matter
jurisdiction can be based.'" Kerns v. United
States, 585 F.3d 187, 192 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Bain, 697 F.2d at 1219). "In that event, all
the facts alleged in the complaint are assumed to be true and
the plaintiff, in effect, is afforded the same procedural
protection as he would receive under a Rule 12(b)(6)
consideration." Bain, 697 F.2d at 1219.
a defendant may challenge jurisdiction factually and
"contend ... 'that the jurisdictional allegations of
the complaint [are] not true.'" Kerns, 585
F.3d at 192 (alteration in original) (quoting Bain,
697 F.2d at 1219). When-and only when-a defendant takes this
latter position, "'[a] trial court may ... go beyond
the allegations of the complaint and in an evidentiary
hearing determine if there are facts to support the
jurisdictional allegations, ' without converting the
motion to a summary judgment proceeding." Id.
(quoting Bain, 697 F.2d at 1219).
case, the Court understands Defendant to be bringing a facial
challenge to standing. Accordingly, the Court's analysis
is confined to the facts as pled in the Complaint.
Supreme Court has established that the "irreducible
constitutional minimum" of standing includes three
elements: (1) an injury-in-fact; (2) a causal connection
between the injury and the alleged misconduct; and (3) a
likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable
decision. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S.
555, 560-61 (1992) (citations omitted). "Where, as here,
a case is at the pleading stage, the plaintiff must
'clearly ... allege facts demonstrating' each
element." Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct.
1540, 1547 (2016) (as revised May 24, 2016) (quoting
Worth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 518(1975)).
order to show injury-in-fact at the pleading stage, a
plaintiff must allege '"an invasion of a legally
protected interest' that is 'concrete and
particularized' and 'actual and imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical.'" Id. at 1548
(quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560). To satisfy the
concreteness requirement, a plaintiff must allege an
injury-either tangible or intangible-that actually exists.
Id. at 1548-49. The Supreme Court has made clear
that "Article III standing requires a concrete injury
even in the context of a statutory violation."
Id. at 1549. However, in certain limited
circumstances the statutory violation ...